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The Japanese go to school year round. August they have about 2 weeks off.
I often think I might like going year round and then having longer breaks. The kids lose SO much at home during the summers if they don't do summer school or at least something mind stimulating (like read!). I'm amazed at how many kids hardly pick up a book or 2 the entire summer. Plus, reteaching behaviors each year takes so long, because many haven't said a please or a thank you in 2 and a half months when they come back.
Our area completely removed year round schools and went back to a traditional school year last year. While I would love to have the whole summer off, I think it is much more beneficial to be in school all year.
I believe, if there is someone from Europe in here please feel free to correct me, in France students go to school 8a-4pm on M,T,Th,F and have half days on W and Sa.